Imagine working on a 24/7 clock. No breaks, no sick days. That’s the normal life for many working mothers in Northern Ghana. They devote their lives to working or taking care of ill children due to the overwhelming sickness caused by unclean, polluted water. Unfortunately, each year in Ghana, thousands of child deaths result from a diarrheal disease due to bacteria in dirty water.
This issue disrupts the lives of many mothers and children. It is not often that working mothers get sick days, and when they do have free time, they are caring for those who are not healthy due to the lack of access to safe water. These mothers often have a difficult time generating enough profit to support their families, which eliminates many opportunities to improve their futures.
Additionally, these sick children are unable to attend school, halting major development for them intellectually. Globally, unsafe water is the number one cause of death for children under the age of five.
However, this problem is not impossible to solve. These issues can be prevented and there are initiatives to make a difference in these people’s lives.
Since 2004, Procter and Gamble’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water program has worked to prevent waterborne illness and provide clean safe drinking water for families using water purifiers. They have provided 11 billion liters of clean drinking water to date.
By 2020 P&G hopes to provide 15 billion liters of water, continuing the movement to end the clean water crisis and transform the lives of many.
Nema, a farmer and mother, uses P&G’s Pur Packet technology to prevent waterborne illness and provide safe drinking water for her family and community. In a P&G video Nema states, “People now understand the connection between clean water and their health.”
Nema, along with other women such as Fusenia Barikisu, a nurse, and Joana, a seamstress with a serious business, teach others about the benefits of the clean water produced by the packets as part of P&G’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water program.
Spreading awareness and education on this matter is essential when searching for ways to overcome the obstacles that unsafe water brings. Although it may seem like the damage from dirty water can be irreversible there are many steps that can be taken, just as P&G has shown.
The cycle can be stopped and thousands of meaningful lives can be restored with clean drinking water. There must be a strong focus on getting people resources to water that is safe for them to consume.
These women in Ghana are working hard to make health a priority in their communities and positively change lives. Their efforts will not go unnoticed, and initiatives will continue until the plague of dirty water is fully resolved.
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